Week of May 28, 2003
tough budget year ahead for school district
By Stephanie Summerlin
May marks the end of the academic year and the beginning of new budgets in school districts throughout the state.
Anderson School District One, anticipating a July budget deadline to the Anderson County School Board, was already at work analyzing the numbers for the 2003-04 school year at its May board meeting.
The biggest challenge facing District One administration and its board is keeping student to teacher ratios at current levels despite a 23.7 decrease in base student funding now down to $1,643.
Especially problematic, say district officials, is sustaining those ratios in light of an anticipated 303-student increase next year. Even with half that number of new students filling desks, a number of District One schools will need to add teachers.
There are several of our schools that will need to fill growth positions, says Superintendent Dr. Reggie Christopher. Cedar Grove Elementary will need 2.7, Concrete Primary, two, Powdersville Elementary, 2.5, Hunt Meadows Elementary, 1.7, and Wren High, four.
In essence, Christopher says, the district would need to add 10.5 new teaching positions to keep up with student population growth.
Currently, student/teacher ratios within the district are 21.5 to 1 for elementary classrooms and 23 to 1 for middle and high schools. But as students, teachers and parents can attest, those numbers are not achieved in many classrooms.
Keeping our student/teacher ratios to at least where they are now is very important, says Sallie Lee, school board secretary. I know of second grade classrooms in this district that have 29 students to one teacher already.
Adding those teachers could be a tall order in a district that has already been hit with over $3 million in budget cuts over the last two school years. There are also a number of proposed budget increases facing Anderson One most of which are federal or state mandates. They include increases in Workers Compensation, a Step salary increase of .65 percent for teachers, increase for teacher certification salary upgrades, and boosts in everyday costs such as insurance, utilities and general maintenance.
More money could also be coming out of parents pockets this fall when student registration begins. Base student materials costs could increase by $5 per student across the board. Lunches could also be more expensive, with per meal prices increasing by 10 cents.
With the increased costs factored in, District One is looking at a budgeted expenditure of $37,166,353. Add to that the proposed new teaching positions at $474,075, and the total comes to $37,640,428.
The districts revenue for the next school year is projected at $36,745,269. With that projection and to balance the budget, district officials foresee a millage increase of 3.59 after factoring in current debt service millage.
These numbers are tentative. They are just projections, says Director of Finance Steve Uldrick. But a millage increase should not be news to people following the stories surrounding budget cutbacks from the state and the increased population growth in our district.
The districts 2003-04 budget will not be set until July, when all fiscal years collections will be in and rollback millage and debt service figures will be finalized. At that time, the districts projected expenditures will be passed on to the Anderson County School Board. Anderson Ones board and the county board will meet in mid-June for a budget work session.
The budget wasnt the only financial item the board dealt with Tuesday. Trustees unanimously approved allowing the district to participate in a statewide tax anticipation note program.
The program, known as TAN, allows the district to cover costs while it waits on tax revenue from the state. In recent years, those checks from Columbia have often arrived late due to state budget shortfalls giving districts cash flow problems and often preventing them from making payroll or paying bills.
Under TAN, school systems can acquire loans at low interest rates and legal costs, and can pay those short-term loans back without penalty. Districts which are members of the TAN program but do not need loans incur no out-of-pocket costs.
More than 30 South Carolina school districts are anticipated to join the TAN program this year. The last time District One issued a TAN this one independently was 1973.
The board also approved a waiver request application for EIA Maintenance of Local Effort for the 2001-02 school year.
State law requires tax levies for school systems to grow in proportion with the districts student population each year. Anderson One did not meet that requirement in the 2001-02 school year due to unanticipated population growth, Christopher says.
The board also authorized the renewal of the student accident and sports insurance plans with Maksin/Guarantee Trust. The only increase in rates will be seen in the sports policy, which will rise 5 percent.
The following personnel motions were also accepted by the board:
Resignations Latonya Kerns, Wren High, English; Megan Phillips, Powdersville Elementary, science; Nicole Roper, Wren Elementary, elementary teacher; Holly Sarratt, Spearman Elementary, P.E.; Jason Warren, Palmetto Middle, band.
Requests for maternity leave Sheila Evans, West Pelzer Elementary, seven weeks leave Aug. 4-Sept. 2; Barbara Wagher, Wren Elementary, eight weeks leave beginning Aug. 27.
Transfers Kurt Blocher, fifth grade, from 1.0 FTE Pelzer Elementary to 1.0 FTE Powdersville Elementary; Angie Lowery, 4K, from 1.0 FTE Pelzer Elementary to 1.0 FTE West Pelzer Elementary.
Recommendations Brian Couch, Palmetto High, assistant principal; Ashley Dilworth, Wren Middle, seventh grade; Corrie Leigh Haltiwanger, Wren Middle, math.
Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy announced this week that Troy R. Martin has been named Chief of Police of the Town of Williamston, putting an end to questions of whether the chief was hired on a temporary basis or on a more permanent basis.
I have watched his actions, his skills and leadership ablilties for the last 28 days, Clardy said. In doing so, I am nothing short of impressed and pleased.
Clardy said that since the new chief took over he has seen numerous changes in the department which he fully supports.
I have witnessed first hand a complete and total transformation in the morale of our police department in this short period of time. The officers have been very open in expressing their satisfaction with goals and productivity of his administration thus far, Clardy said.
The statements were made in a prepared statement sent to members of Town Council on Tuesday.
Clardy also made Council aware of a list of short term and long term goals already underway in the department.
He told council members in the statement that the police department is working diligently with the mayor and council in order to be more productive on a daily basis.
According to Clardy, the new chief is making him immediately aware of any changes going on in the department, of any memos issued, or other issues that need to be brought to the attention of the mayor and council.
Clardy said the open line of communication between himself and the police department will also help the town deal with rumors.
He also said that the department is working to be a more proactive police department by encouraging officers to walk through, and eat in businesses in an attempt to improve police-community relations.
Though the official policy is as stated, the new policy apparently doesnt apply to all businesses, as both Mayor Clardy and Chief Martin have publicly stated that they support an edict restricting officers from establishments in which there may be politically charged discussions, either for or against the current administration or police department.
Clardy said officers have been advised to avoid businesses that have publicaly or verbally expressed opposition or support for the administration.
We dont want them to have to choose a side, the mayor said.
Clardy said that some businesses have chosen to publicaly indentify with a political position and officers have been instructed, that in any situation, to take a neutral position and not to take a side.
Clardy said the statement was made to the towns police officers because of residents who called the town upset because of things being said by officers in public places.
We said we didnt want any officers out in places that have verbally shown that they are on a certain side of an issue, Clardy said. Businesses shouldnt form an opinion, either to slam us or support us, Clardy said.
We have discouraged officers from being in a hostile situation. Officers cannot and should not take part in conversations, according to the departments policy and procedures, that either downgrade a department or the administration, Clardy said.
Our officers are not restricted from their duties as officers. While in uniform, they represent the town, and will provide any service of the town, the mayor said. We dont want any officer being in a situation where they have to choose.
He also said that he has seen no memo on a ban on any particular restaurant.
Other changes in the Williamston Police Department are to provide more opennness and community based policing.
According to Mayor Clardy, a number of changes already underway will provide better communication between the towns police officers and the business community and public.
Other changes will open lines of communications between the police and fire departments, will improve efficiency and eliminate some expenses.
In the statement sent to Council, Clardy said that he wants to improve the police department and officers image in and out of public view by discouraging negative attitudes while officers are on duty and representing the town.
Negative attitudes in public are against the progress and positive outlook of our community, Clardy said.
Officers are being told to take criticism constructively when they are approached.
No matter the situation, even if it involves criticism, officers are being told to try to make it constructive and make it a positive for the town instead of grumbling, Clardy said.
If there is a legitimate concern, we want to make it constructive, to turn it into something positive for the community.
Clardy said the police department is also working to improve relations with the County Detention Center by using supervised inmates to help with various projects in the town.
Clardy said county inmates have already been used to help with painting and will be used for additional painting at the police department, with repairs and to pick up trash.
Clardy said he is also encouraging better communications between the police and fire departments.
In the past there has been a territorial wedge between the departments, he said.
Clardy said he has met with Fire Chief Steve Ellison and Chief Martin who have promised to work together and closer in the community to provide better service to the town.
Clardy said he hopes to be able to provide every police officer and firemen a means of communications to access each other if necessary.
Other recent changes include reassigning older patrol cars to areas of need. Two older vehicles have been reassigned, one to the Fire Department and one to the Towns victim advocate. Dispatchers will no longer have vehicles provided.
Clardy said the fire department had requested a vehicle to use when attending county meetings or when other necessary non emergency transportation is needed.
Clardy also said the victims advocate needed a vehicle to transport victims to court or other necessary places.
Both vehicles are older models with extremely high mileage, Clardy said.
Clardy said the town is also looking at concerns with wrecker services that are on a call list to provide towing services for individuals or the town.
A policy change will require operators to provide proof of insurance and registration on towing vehicles that are on the towns rotation towing list, he said.
Clardy also said the department is looking at ongoing problems associated with repairs on radios and lights on police vehicles.
We hope to have repeated maintenance costs eliminated, he said, by requiring vendors to fix or replace equipment with ongoing problems.
Clardy also said the police department is in the process of inventorying all equipment in the department.
All issued and non-issued equipment will be accounted for, Clardy said.
An experienced road officer with basic academy training has been hired to fill an open position on the force.
Clardy said hiring an experienced officer will save the town the associated expenses of sending an officer for training and will help with an overtime situation in which current officers have been used to cover the position.
Clardy said the police department will also be getting new uniforms which will be less expensive than replacing the older uniforms.
The new chief is considering uniforms that are cooler, less expensive, and will provide the department with a different look. Uniforms have been the most requested change by officers, according to Clardy.
Other changes include additional decals on police vehicles including adding a Williamston decal to the rear of each vehicle and a decal promoting a direct email address for Chief Martin.
Clardy said the step is another means of communication for residents.
Any problem or compliment can be emailed directly to the chief, Clardy said. We welcome input.
The email address is email@example.com.
Suggestions or concerns can be sent to the address which is a private email for the chief, Clardy said.
Police vehicles will also be individually numbered for identification.
Another cost cutting step will be to have the NCIC computer service changed from full service to inquiry only, saving the Town approximately $8,450 in leasing, maintenance and upgrading costs.
The town will also save on additional training costs, as officers will need only 16 hours of training, as opposed to 40 hours for full service, which can be provided by Chief Martin, who is an NCIC instructor, according to the mayor.
Oganizers of a petition drive to change the form of government in Williamston have cleared the first hurdle, that of obtaining necessary signatures.
The Anderson County Election Commission recently confirmed that it has certified signatures of registered voters on the petition to change the form of government.
Election Board Director Patsy Brown would not release details of the petition but did confirm that the Board of Elections had checked to verify names of registered voters and signatures on the petitions.
She said the results will be available for the town clerk to pick up and will be returned to the towns election commission. The results will then be presented to Council and an election date set within 30 to 90 days, officials said.
Williamston Town Clerk Hala Cochran was expected to pick up the petitions and results from the County Board this week, but was out of the office and unavailable for comment today (Wednesday).
Although details of the petition were not available, more than 302 valid signatures were needed to meet the requirements of 15 percent of the towns registered voters.
Organizers of the drive said they obtained signatures of approximately 470 registered voters as the first step in the process of allowing Williamston residents to decide if they want to change the towns strong mayor, weak council form of government to a council form of government.
The question will be presented to residents by referendum to decide if they want to change the form of government, according to resident John Suber who helped organize the petition drive.
Town Council could also call for an election to decide the question. Councilmembers have indicated that they would support the change if the residents want it changed, but would rely on the referendum to make the decision.
According to the South Carolina Code of Laws, changing the form of government in any municipality requires one of two actions: an Election Commission-certified petition to that effect signed by 15 percent of the towns registered voters; or the municipal governing body calling for such an election by ordinance.
If either is the case, the municipal governing body would then conduct a special election not later than 90 days nor earlier than 30 days after the receipt of the petition or the passage of the ordinance.
Williamston is currently governed under the mayor-council form of government.
The Council form of government, which organizers of the petition drive are pushing for, designates legislative and administrative powers of the municipality are to be vested in the town council. Each member of council, including the mayor, has one vote.
Supporters of the change have said that it is necessary to involve Council members more closely in the decisions being made in Williamstons government.
Opponents have said that the current system of government has worked fine and is the primary form of government among municipalities in the state.
Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said he is very much opposed to changing the form of government and has stated that he believes the effort is in response to actions he has taken in recent weeks.
West Pelzer Town Council recently approved a councilmembers request calling for an election to be held to determine the form of government for their Town.
Councilman Joe Turner proposed an ordinance to change the form of government to the Council form of government after he received a request from town employees concerned about keeping their jobs.
Second reading on the ordinance is expected at the June 10 meeting of Council. If approved, the question will go to a referendum for voters to decide the issue within 30-90 days.
Another election for the purpose of changing the form of government cannot be held within a four year period.
Any change in government also requires final approval by the Justice Department.
The five member Grievance Committee which reviewed the firing of former Williamston Police Chief Richard Turner, released a statement to both parties last Tuesday (May 20) which said the Towns policies and procedures were followed by the Mayor when he fired the police chief.
The statement was released Wednesday morning (May 21) to The Journal by the Town under a Freedom of Information request.
Clardy said the findings of the hearing were made available so quickly because of interest in the situation by the press and because a labor attorney advising the town said the committee was a public body associated with the town, and therefore any finding or statement made by the committee would be public information, subject to FOI guidelines.
The attorney also advised the Town that information presented during the hearing was confidential and should not be made public, Clardy said.
Grievance Committee Chairman Larry Strom said that any information presented to the committee during the executive session hearing should not be made public by any of the parties involved.
Strom made it clear that the committee released the statement only to the Mayor Clardy and Turner last week and neither he nor any of the committee members had anything to do with the statement being made public.
The statement included three recommendations which Mayor Clardy said he has already taken into consideration.
In the statement, the committee recommended that the mayor and Turner meet in a neutral setting with independent witnesses present, for the Mayor to inform Turner of his reasons for termination.
The committee also recommended that the town of Williamston adopt a policy in which terminated individuals are given the reason for termination, in writing, as soon as humanly possible.
Also, the committee recommended that at the next meeting of Town Council, the Mayor call for an executive session and give Council his reasons for termination of Turner, with the reminder that all information released to Council members in an executive session is to remain in the room.
Responding to the recommendations, Clardy released a statement which said, I cannot see what another meeting at another time would provide either party. Mr. Turner was given an appropriate opportunity, in a private setting and confidential with this committee, to have disclosed to him the various reasons of his termination and any documentation(s) or witness(s) to support the decision.
Clardy also stated that Turner was informed in writing, at his termination that for various reasons his services as Chief of Police for the Town of Williamston were no longer needed.
Clardy also said the he has discussed many issues with town council members as well as the former chief prior to and after the fact of Turners termination.
Clardy said that he met with two councilmen last Tuesday to discuss the situation.
Clardy said that Councilman David Harvell and Councilman Cecil Cothran have been told about the situation in absolute detail.
I have asked them not to discuss it because it is confidential, the mayor said.
Clardy said he has not discussed the firing with the Towns other two councilmen.
We may go into an executive session with a quorum to do that, he said. I want to make it clear they havent been denied any information.
Clardy said that he has kept Councilman Harvell informed of everything he possibly can, because he is the Mayor Pro-Tem, and would need to know if it became necessary to fill in for the mayor.
Turner said Wednesday that he has not met with Clardy or been given any specific reason or reasons for being fired.
He has never talked with me, Turner said. I was told upon my termination that I could contact the clerk with any questions, Turner said. He also said he asked for a reason in writing and was told by Clardy that he would receive one. I havent gotten one yet, Turner said.
Turner said that he wouldnt comment on what was said during the executive session, which is supposed to be private.
West Pelzer voters will decide on a new mayor and two council members in the June 3 election.
Voters will have a clear choice between a candidate with experience and a first time candidate with new ideas in mayors race.
A lifelong resident of West Pelzer, Joe Turner is running for the office of mayor based on his 12 years of experience as a town councilman. Turner said that his knowledge and experience makes him more qualified and a good choice for the job.
Turner said that lots of things can be done through grants and a change in the form of government. He favors the strong council, weak mayor form of government.
He also believes that things can be done to improve the sewer and water situation in the town. Turner says that he will be available to work full time to go to Columbia or do whatever is needed to bring about improvements.
A Vietnam veteran, Turner is a member of the VFW, the American Legion, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. He also has a degree in Wildlife, Parks and Recreation Management.
Turner is a member of West Pelzer Baptist Church and lives on Hindman Street with his wife Tammy and their son Jeremy.
Peggy Paxton plans to bring new ideas and strategies to the table to get control of the government if she becomes mayor. She feels that representatives have to stop dragging their feet and waiting on opportunities to find them.
Paxton plans to work hard to resolve water and sewer issues, to enforce ordinances, and to reduce the cost of living. According to Paxton, citizen concerns will no longer go unanswered.
Paxton gave herself a personal challenge to make a difference in West Pelzer and to bring a higher morale to the community. She worked on the West Pelzer Fall Festival, the community food drive, and the first Christmas parade in over 40 years.
Chairperson of the Community Service Committee, Paxton is also a member of the Get Together Club and the beautification committee for Anderson County Keep America Beautiful. She was 2002 recipient of the Volunteer Pride Award from Keep America Beautiful of Anderson County and 2002 grant recipient from the Anderson County Master Gardeners Association to add decorative hangers on Main Street.
Paxton is a 1985 graduate of Parker High School with additional studies in business management and accounting. She works part-time as a bookkeeper for AP Polymers in Simpsonville.
A resident of West Pelzer for six years, Paxton, her husband Kevin, and their children Andrew and Alexandria attend West Pelzer Baptist Church.
A political newcomer and three candidates with experience on the town council are running for the two seats available on the West Pelzer Town Council.
Political newcomer Terry Davis was shocked and disappointed after attending council meetings for about a year and decided to get involved since he believed that citizens were not being well represented. He feels that the people need a voice as well as answers to questions. Candidates that are voted into office are accountable to the people, Davis said.
Davis says that he would like to restore honesty and integrity to town government. He also emphasizes that he would like for the people to be proud of West Pelzer once again.
He also has special concern for senior citizens who cannot afford outrageous water bills of $50 and $60 and hopes to cut costs and reduce spending. I want to see water rates brought down to a reasonable range, Davis commented.
Other issues of concern to Davis are the speeding of big trucks down Highway 8, enforcement of animal control laws, and solutions to water pressure problems.
Retired on disability, Davis lives on Spring Street with his wife Faye and his children, Andy and April. He is a member of the Carolina Heights Church of God of Prophecy in Greenville.
Maida Kelly has served four years on the town council and is seeking re-election. Kelly has enjoyed working for the people and appreciated the support of the town in the past.
Kelly believes that dividing the town into wards would achieve better representation. She also feels that the town should consider annexation as well as explore more grant opportunities.
Kelly feels the town should cut any expenses or excess if possible in order not to raise taxes since she feels that the senior citizens could not afford a tax increase. She would also like to see senior citizens checked on periodically.
Kelly lives on Dendy Street and has been a resident of West Pelzer for 38 years. She has a business degree and currently works as a nanny for a special needs child.
She attends West Pelzer Baptist Church and is also a member of the Eastern Star.
Linda Lozano loves the community and believes that the town has a lot of potential. She feels that residents need a safe place to live as well as maintain the small town atmosphere.
Serving on the council from 1994-98, she worked with Clemson students on a comprehensive plan and a zoning ordinance for the town. Lozano feels that the town needs a functioning Planning Commission, Zoning Board, and Beautification Committee. She also feels that the town should work on solutions to the water and sewer problems.
Lozano graduated from Palmetto High School and lives on Welborn Street. She has three children and three grandchildren and is employed with CVS in West Pelzer.
She is a member of Pelzer First Baptist Church, Hejaz Country Girls, Eastern Star, and the Get Together Club. She has also volunteered with United Way and the Road Study Committee.
Johnny Rogers served on council four years ago and is seeking to serve again. During his previous term, he was involved in updating ordinances, a loan/grant for the sewer project, and comprehensive planning.
Rogers primary goal is to be as fair as I can representing the good for the citizens of West Pelzer. He seeks citizen involvement and welcomes any concerns citizens may have.
Rogers said he would like to see the town go forward and to work on some kind of program for the elderly and shut-ins.
Rogers has worked with 3M for 23 years. He attends New Hope Baptist Church and is a member of the Pelzer Masonic Lodge, he and his wife Judy live on Holliday Street and have three children. He is a former member of the Rescue Squad and the Fire Department.
Anderson County Council approved a reallocation of $10,000 for the Town of West Pelzer at its regular meeting on May 20 which was held after a special called meeting to handle the third reading of the budget ordinance.
District 7 Council member Cindy Wilson requested that the funds which had been designated for street repair be used instead for emergency waterline work on Welborn, Dendy, and Dianne Streets. Five council members voted to approve the reallocation with Council member Larry Greer opposing and Council member Fred Tolly abstaining.
Wilson also outlined several concerns with the new budget including increased spending on education and training, advertising, and consulting fees. Wilson emphasized that the population did not grow at a level that correlates with the increase in expenses.
Environmental Services Director Vic Carpenter presented a report to the council containing voluntary measures recommended by the Upstate Steering Committee appointed to study and make recommendations associated with the standards of the new Clean Air Act. Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting the recommendations.
Council unanimously approved the third reading of an ordinance adopting a zoning map for the Centerville A Voting Precinct.
The second reading of an ordinance regulating the use of taxicab services in the county received unanimous approval.
Council unanimously approved the second reading of two ordinances authorizing infrastructure credits and a fee in lieu of tax agreement between Anderson County and Fraenkische USA.
The council also unanimously approved a resolution supporting the issuance of $185 million in Hospital Refunding and Improvement Revenue Bonds.
A resolution by Greer requesting the county legislative delegation to sponsor legislation repealing requirements for periodic reassessment led to some discussion by council members. A split vote supported postponing the resolution until the next meeting so that specific recommendations could be added to the document.
Thieves escaped with more than $40,000 in equipment from V & V Equipment located at 5046 Highway 29 North in Belton after the business closed last Thursday.
Business owner Eddie Mack Claxton arrived around 7 a.m. Friday morning to open up and discovered the front gate was open. The chain and lock which secured the fence were missing as well as multiple pieces of equipment. Listed as missing were eight John Deere lawn mowers, two 4-wheelers, and two Gators amounting to $43,200 in value.
Anderson County Sheriffs Deputy J. R. Jones responded to Claxtons call and discovered tire tracks determined to be from a trailer leading into the business. A portion of fencing facing Highway 29 was cut, and a guard rail was removed from the highway as a means of escape according to the incident report.
Deputies also arrested Victor Hunt Vandegrift, 37, 226 Park Row, Piedmont, after a white Pontiac was observed traveling at a high rate of speed from Super 8 Motel to the Executive Inn. Sheriffs Deputy J. R. Jones saw the vehicle parked at the Executive Inn with a passenger inside. Jones approached the vehicle and reported the strong smell of alcohol. Reportedly the suspect behaved in a threatening manner, began using profanity and was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct. During an attempt to handcuff the suspect, Jones reported that the suspect became even more violent. Deputy A. S. Singleton arrived to assist and escort the suspect to the patrol car.
Reportedly the suspect began kicking and damaging the rear window of the patrol car and had to be chemically treated and secured with leg restraints to prevent further property damage. A vehicle inventory produced a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana wrapped in white paper in the ashtray.
Vandegrift was transported to the Anderson County Detention Center after being charged with resisting arrest, malicious injury to county property, disorderly conduct, and simple possession of marijuana.
Anderson County deputies also investigated the following incidents:
May 26 Shannon Bagwell, 31, 1120 Stratford Court, Easley, reported that someone forced open the door to a mobile home and removed power tools valued at $350. J. Brock investigated.
May 26 George Della Bruce, 59, 102 Old Tabernacle Rd., Williamston, reported that someone removed lumber valued at $1800 from his front yard. C. R. Brown investigated,
May 26 Karen Weisner Jackson, 39, 109 Ross St., Piedmont, reported that someone removed a grass trimmer and a leaf blower valued at $300 from her garage. C. R. Brown investigated.
May 26 Tim Caldwell, 40, 121 Ivory Glenn Court, Piedmont, reported that someone removed a Murray riding lawn mower valued at $1100. C. R. Mize investigated.
May 26 Greg Phillips, 33, 116 Poore Rd., Piedmont, reported that someone broke his car window and stole a Sony radio/CD player valued at $600. J. W. Lindsey investigated.
May 25 Little General, 901 Anderson Rd., Piedmont, reported that someone left the store without paying for beer valued at $6. A. B. Singleton investigated.
May 25 Trent Allen McMillan, 23, 122 Koleope Dr., Easley, reported that someone forced entry through a back door causing $125 in damages. D. C. Fouts investigated.
May 25 Linda Banks, 50, 211 Poinsettia Dr., Easley, reported that someone carried away a Craftsman self-propelled mower valued at $300 from her front yard. D. Mitchell investigated.
May 24 Ingles, 10903 Anderson Rd., Easley, reported that a customer placed $47 worth of merchandise in her pocketbook and attempted to leave without paying. The items were returned to the store and two persons were placed on trespass notice. A. B. Singleton investigated.
May 24 Howard Hall, 52, 1145 Lakeview Drive, Greenville, reported that someone stole a weedeater and saw valued at $110 from his carport. J. W. Lindsey investigated.
May 23 Joel Boyd Lackey, 48, 545 Old Pendleton Rd., Easley, reported that someone took a 4-wheeler and helmet and a John Deere riding lawn mower valued at $2610 from his carport. M. B. Sloan investigated.
May 22 Joseph F. Barnes, 36, 110 Irby Rd., Piedmont, reported six go-cart tires valued at $260 missing from his carport. D. Hodges investigated.
The Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners unanimously approved second reading of a budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004 at their monthly meeting on May 19.
The revised budget reflects a 5 percent employee raise and shows estimated revenues at $1,087,395 for all departments with total estimated expenditures of $1,064,270 leaving an estimated surplus of $23,125.
Millage rates remain unchanged at .055 for the fire department, .024 for the sewer and light department, and .002 for the recreation department.
The news report in last weeks Journal incorrectly stated the original budget figures, which were revised for the second reading.
Third reading will be held at the next meeting, June 16 at 7 p.m..